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GODSTICKS

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Godsticks biography
Hailing from South Wales, U.K., GODSTICKS are a three-piece progressive heavy rock band whose music has frequently been described as imaginative and original. Their musical style is intricate yet accessible; an abundance of melody played with precision and panache.

The band released their eponymously titled EP at the beginning of 2009, with little in the way of promotion or expectation. To their surprise, the sheer originality of the music was greeted with enthusiasm and the EP received overwhelmingly positive reviews with the band being considered "a refreshing approach to the contemporary music scene".

The current band line-up has existed since 2010. Drummer, Steve ROBERTS, was hired by founding member Darran CHARLES to play on the debut EP but almost immediately became an integral part of the band's sound and had little option other than to join. Bassist Dan NELSON joined a short time later (original bass player Jason MARSH left in late 2009), having been discovered by Darran via a YouTube video Dan had posted of himself playing a GODSTICKS tune.

In July 2010, the band released their debut full-length album "Spiral Vendetta" - the culmination of 16 months of writing and a lengthy production process. The extensive production proved worth it as the album received a unanimously positive response, being described as 'mesmerising'. One reviewer said: "Spiral Vendetta has it all in spades with chops, emotion, musicality and imagination, the songs pack a breathtaking amount into concise pieces and the album in no way outstays its welcome."

A worldwide distribution deal was secured on the strength of the debut album and the band completed a number of tours and festivals, supporting such acts as THE PINEAPPLE THIEF. In March 2012, GODSTICKS were also the supporting act on a 5-date UK tour with THE ARISTOCRATS; featuring world-renowned guitarist Guthrie GOVAN. The tour was a huge success and introduced the band to a much wider audience.

At the end of that tour the band went into the studio to record their second album, "The Envisage Conundrum". The recent and extensive live work had influenced the newer material and it became much heavier and more guitar-driven. None of the band's vaunted originality was lost but "The Envisage Conundrum" represented a more focused and settled band, still offering an eclectic array of songs, but in a much more accessible package.

"The Envisage Conundrum" was released in 2013 and packed a ...
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Faced With RageFaced With Rage
KSCOPE 2017
$10.40
$16.02 (used)
EmergenceEmergence
Godsticks 2015
$11.99
$12.47 (used)
Envisage ConundrumEnvisage Conundrum
Ais 2013
$18.99
$19.95 (used)
Spiral Vendetta by Godsticks (2010-10-07)Spiral Vendetta by Godsticks (2010-10-07)
AMZV9
$40.47
Spiral VendettaSpiral Vendetta
AMZV9 2011
$4.17
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GODSTICKS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GODSTICKS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 20 ratings
Spiral Vendetta
2010
3.61 | 21 ratings
The Envisage Conundrum
2013
3.94 | 23 ratings
Emergence
2015
3.91 | 18 ratings
Faced with Rage
2017

GODSTICKS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GODSTICKS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GODSTICKS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GODSTICKS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 10 ratings
Godsticks
2008

GODSTICKS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Faced with Rage by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 18 ratings

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Faced with Rage
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars The latest album from welsh proggers Godsticks showed some changes in the band, as for the first time it sees them as a four-piece with drummer Tom Price, who replaces Steve Roberts (who had been in the band since 2010) and additional guitarist Gavin Bushell, which allows the band to be more aggressive and punchy than previously. They join Darran Charles (who also performed on The Pineapple Thief's 2016 hit album 'Your Wilderness' and is part of their live touring band) who provides vocals and guitar along with bassist Dan Nelson. Lyrically, 'Faced With Rage' explores the theme of people dealing with emotional conflict in different scenarios, and who have a powerful desire to change their behaviour or situation.

These guys are very much in the modern field of progressive rock, taking influences from Tool, Porcupine Tree, System of a Down, Radiohead and the aforementioned The Pineapple Thief and Bruce Soord. Actually, unless they're careful they might even find themselves becoming beloved of the mainstream media as they are far more angular and indie rocky than one would normally think of with a prog act. With their approach and layering wall of sound there are also times when they come across as a more vibrant and energised Muse, and when listening to this I often find myself having closed my eyes and am just moving to the beat, nto something one would normally expect from prog!

I know I am late to the piece, as the album has already been out six months, but I am incredibly glad that I have finally heard it, as it is well worth investigating by anyone who has ever bemoaned that too many prog acts sound like Genesis.

 Faced with Rage by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 18 ratings

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Faced with Rage
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars One of the better collections of Prog Metal songs I've heard all year: tight, concise, well-composed and -performed with competent skill (though with all-too-little flash) and incredible clarity of sound (especially considering this is prog metal--a typically muddy and murky sub-genre of music). My main complaint is that the music is sometimes too conservative and too simplistic--soft around the edges--especially for djenty prog metal.

1. "Guilt" (4:31) musically a nice start, but then the singing, verses and horrible chord progression for the chorus enter into play. Some of the things going on within the music are interesting--until they get too repetitive and old. (8/10)

2. "Hard to Face" (6:10) "simple" prog metal or heavy metal--a song that would get a lot of play on XM/Sirius's Octane station. (9/10)

3. "Open Your Eyes" (5:04) nothing very new or exciting on this standard heavy prog song.(7.5/10)

4. "We Are Leaving" (6:49) opens like a delicate ANATHEMA song, drums and bass joining in during the second verse. The song then goes into KARNIVOOL realms with Ian Kenny-like vocal. It evens tells the sci-fi like story of leaving (the planet?) Things amp up (slightly) at 4:35 while never getting too crazy (or even crazy at all; it's very restrained). Pretty but nothing very special. (8.5/10)

5. "Angry Concern" (6:34) a little edgier, djentier sounding, despite some nice solos, the song never really develops into anything better than an ALICE IN CHAINS b-side. (8/10)

6. "Avenge" (3:56) solid but too straightforward with no unexpected moments, none of the nuance surprises that feed my soul. (8.5/10)

7. "Revere" (4:24) opens in a cool almost-rehearsal way before turning into a radio-friendly ALICE IN CHAINS/KLONE song. Still, the sounds, weaves, melodies, and vocals are all perfectly matched. This is a heavy pop song that I would request and replay. (9/10)

8. "Unforgivable" (5:56) Finally! some thick, heavy bass and guitar chord play. Nice subtlety touches within the music--with and without the singing. I just wish there were a few twists or turns--and a little more exciting soloing. Still, a top three song for me. (9/10)

9. "Everdrive" (8:02) A song that feels like a true prog metal song with its djenty staccato time signature changes and full-on band soundscape explorations. One of the few songs in which the music attracts my attention over the vocals. And they even take a few surprising turns along the way. More of this, please! (9.5/10)

10. "Fame and Silence" (5:03) almost feels a personalized take on LED ZEPPELIN's "Kashmir." Very nice lead guitar solo in the third minute. Gets a little more dense, heavy, and full toward the end, but still leaves me disappointed. This could be so much more! (8.5/10)

Four stars; a very good contribution of progressive rock music, one that is worth checking out by all prog lovers.

 Faced with Rage by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 18 ratings

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Faced with Rage
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Nope, this is not a prog metal album actually! Superficially the first impressions are going to unveil that, due to some prominent crunchy guitar riffs immediately appearing. Anyhow, certainly here we have a heavy rock based album overall. And, while contrasting with the vast amount of genre typical recordings, one that appeals to me very much. Lyrically they explore the theme of people dealing with emotional conflicts in various scenarios. For the first time this features a four-piece line up. I wasn't aware of this Wales based band beforehand, thus went on a listen completely unbiased.

Hey, they sound like a well-practised dynamic unit, top-notch sound, nothing fails, even Darran Charles' singing voice is rather unique. Instrumentally both guitars are definitely dominating. And so on the other hand the keys are an encore which nicely will top this issue off, exemplarily to notice on the mellow We Are Leaving. Furthermore I managed to detect some real pearls like Hard To Face, or the tricky Everdrive as well as Fame And Silence, both provided with some crimson-esque leanings. Well, that makes the difference, or not? 'Faced With Rage' offers heavy progressive stuff with a rather unique standing. Maybe, though only in a wider sense, close to Tool, Portal, Karnivool or Phi from Austria. Worth a try.

 Emergence by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.94 | 23 ratings

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Emergence
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars UK trio GODSTICKS has been around for more than a decade, initially starting out as a cover band back in 2006, and then from 2008 and onward focusing on creating and releasing their own original material. "Emergence" is their third and most recent studio album, self-released by the band in 2015.

Those who tend to enjoy progressive rock featuring elements from hard rock, metal and, arguably, grunge as well, should find Godsticks' 2015 album "Emergence" to be one that merits an inspection. Otherwise this is a band I'd recommend any fan of King's X to get familiar with. Godsticks may be different in overall sound and atmosphere, but they do have a rather similar approach, even if the ingredients may well be from a somewhat different source. "Emergence" is a quality album that warrants a check.

 The Envisage Conundrum by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.61 | 21 ratings

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The Envisage Conundrum
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I remember when GODSTICKS were added to the site here and the buzz around that. I did pick up their debut album at the time which I thought was a good 3 star album. This is their second release and there's not a lot to pick between the two hence my 3 star rating here. In a way this recording feels like it's in no-man's land as it's not heavy despite the hints of it, neither is it too mellow, it's somewhere in between. By the way the band feel that their latest "Emergence" released in 2015 is finally the album where they found their sound. And it's heavy! I like the Alternative vibe on here which comes mostly from the vocals.

"Convergence" is the short intro track that is quite spacey. "Caught In A Bind" is a top three track for me and I like the heaviness early on with the crunchy guitar. It settles back as the vocals join in. Nice bass and drum work here. It becomes fuller with backing vocals until we get this short but enjoyable instrumental section then the vocals return. "The Envisage Conundrum" has this heavy, rumbling soundscape as the guitar plays over top. Vocals join in. A top three tune. "In A Way That Ended Me" has this piano intro before it turns fuller. I like the soaring guitar as well as how understated this song is. Vocals do arrive as well. "Benchmark" is another restrained vocal track and I enjoy the intricate instrumental work. "Submerged" has some energy to it as the vocals join in, but it settles into a mid-paced vocal track.

"A Brief Foray" is another mid-paced vocal track but perhaps more laid back than the earlier ones. "Disclosure" is a nervy attempt by the band in my opinion as we get piano melodies throughout. By the way they got rid of the keyboards on their next album. "Borderstomp Pt.1" has a heavy intro to it that I like as the vocals join in in this Alternative sounding piece. "Borderstomp Pt.2" has this restrained heaviness that I like with vocals. Nice guitar solo after 3 1/2 minutes and before 5 1/2 minutes. "Borderstomp Pt.3" is my final top three song and it's because of the heaviness, love the riffs. Soaring guitar after 4 1/2 minutes when the vocals have stopped. The guitar goes on and on, so good! "Raised Concerns" opens with acoustic guitar as the reserved vocals join in. It's a little fuller after 1 1/2 minutes. Then we get a nice piano interlude before 3 minutes and vocals are back a minute later. Some violin late.

Another good one from this band but they really did find their sound with the latest "Emergence".

 Emergence by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.94 | 23 ratings

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Emergence
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by crashandridemusic

4 stars Hailing from South Wales, Godsticks are Darran Charles (vocals/guitar/keys), Steve Roberts (drums/keys), and Dan Nelson (bass). Despite their 'progressive' tag, they are much more than that, ranging even towards that grungy hard rock and metal sound reminiscent of great rock bands from the 90's and 00's like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. This is easily evidenced in the opening track 'Below the Belt,' with those deep, chuggy chords in the verse that hit you below the belt, and with a bridge section similar to older Riverside material. But just because 'Emergence' contains such a deep sound doesn't mean it is universally low. 'All That Remains' is by far the softest song on this album, containing acoustic guitars, subdued drum beats, orchestral instruments, and even guest vocalist Kaysha Louvain. The lighter feel is inserted directly into the middle of this album, the perfect interlude for the second half of this aggressive album.

The keyboards in this album are so subtle, they almost go unnoticed. Contributed by Darran and Steve, there are plenty of moments where lighter and higher tones pass through the headphones, standing out from the low sound of the album if your listening for it. Take the intro to 'Ruin,' where the keyboards are at their most apparent. Even with the arrangement, the listener can't help but focus on the high hat and snare of the drum set. Songs like 'Exit Stage Right' and the instrumental 'Leave Or Be Left' have beautiful moments with the keyboards complementing groovy bass lines, something I'd like to see more of with their next album. I feel the presence of the keyboards are the perfect palate cleanser, considering the album would be repetitively and consistently boring with its bassy atmosphere.

I love to hear Darran's chromatic voice dancing around the scales used in every song. His delivery is very unique, residing somewhere between mellow and energetic. Despite having a relatively narrow range, his low- to-mid register voice perfectly blends with the naturally deep sound of the album. The quick paced and deeper voice of 'One Percent' perfectly complements the lyrical content, focusing on that 'one percent' we've all heard of in the news. My only criticism with his vocal style is it seems Darran is trying to get too many words out with too little time. Perhaps fewer words or longer verses would solve the problem, but I nonetheless enjoy hearing him sing.

The orchestrations of 'Emergence' are weirdly complex, since it took me a few listens to realize how sophisticated the album really is. When at first I heard the continually rough and fuzzy rhythm guitar, I was later corrected when focusing on the individual components themselves. Darran's guitar style, although primarily rhythm-centric, are clearly more melodic than they lead on. Intricate fills and harmonies are incorporated throughout the album, especially in the choruses and pre-verses in the song 'Much Sinister.' The same goes with 'One Percent,' a song containing plenty of lead guitar overlapping a strong rhythm. Its catchy riffs and unforgettable outro make this song the most striking off the album, and is a song I always look forward to when playing this album. Much of the guitar on this album follows suit, with seemingly simple structures, that is, until you sit down and hear them. The drums, on the other hand, come across as complex as they sound (at least to me). There are so many powerful drum moments on 'Emergence,' but I especially love Steve's presence on the title track. Powerful, technical, and beautiful.

Album closer 'Lack of Scrutiny' is an interesting track, being one of the most non-Godsticks sounding songs on the album. With its eastern-influenced scales (a la Between The Buried And Me), the incorporation of horn instruments, and the drawn-out instrumental intro, the song is the most unique track on 'Emergence.' For an album that utilizes a similar formula for every track, 'Lack of Scrutiny' throws that comfortable feeling out the window. Because of the track's length (lasting nearly seven minutes), Godsticks takes advantage of the time to experiment as much as they wanted. The result is truly a gift, as the listener experiences the most dazing guitar rhythm, most prominent bass guitar, and soaring vocals on the album. What a great way to close off an album!

A solid performance, I urge everyone to purchase Godsticks' 'Emergence,' which will be available on September 4th.

Taken from Crash And Ride Music

 The Envisage Conundrum by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.61 | 21 ratings

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The Envisage Conundrum
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars UK trio GODSTICKS was formed back in 2006, initially as a cover band. They released their first EP with original material in 2008, followed by their full length debut album two years later. Come 2013, and they reappear with a new bassist in the shape of Dan Nelson, and their second album "The Envisage Conundrum". As with their previous productions this CD was self released by the band.

Accessible, melodic progressive rock is what the UK trio Godsticks provides on their second album. Dominated by carefully controlled, yet powerful melodic lead and backing vocals smoothing over an instrumental backdrop that is frequently more challenging and demanding than what you suspect first time around. A fairly intricate disc all in all, but with what one might describe as a mainstream sensibility to it. A creation to check out if accessible progressive rock with jazz-rock details and a firm emphasis on melodies and harmonies sounds like something you'd enjoy listening to.

 Godsticks by GODSTICKS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.09 | 10 ratings

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Godsticks
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars British trio of young musicians Darran Charles (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Steve Roberts (drums, keyboards) and Dan Nelson (bass).Godsticks started their career as a cover band in 2006, but the need of bringing some fresh air into the prog circles soon led them to creating their own material.Silently they debuted with a self-titled self-produced EP at the fall of 2008.

Did the band eventually achieved to come up with an original touch?Partly yes and partly no.One thing is for sure, ''Godsticks'' is a pleasant and highly enjoyable listening, mixing echoes from Progressive Rock, Fusion and Art Rock in a clear production.This is a very modern-sounding EP with plenty of twisting vocal work, but behind it these guys play some captivating and adventurous music.Actually a mix of ECHOLYN, TILES, A.C.T. and THIEVES' KITCHEN would pretty much describe Godsticks approach.Full of sudden breaks, Fusion-esque guitars, polyphonic harmonies, a crazy rhythm section but also some memorable passages, that stick in your mind, this British trio explores different territories of the music spectrum in a quiet innovative way.They are clever enough though to hide their obviously technical skills with plenty of lovely vocal arrangements, elegant piano lines or some refined acoustic hints.

Definitely a band to watch for the future.This EP shows Godsticks entering the world of Progressive/Art Rock in the smart way of combining virtuosic musicianship with warm vocal parts.Recommended.

 Spiral Vendetta by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.73 | 20 ratings

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Spiral Vendetta
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is one of those albums where the focus is on the vocals and lyrics. Sure we get some good instrumental music but rarely is that the focus. I'm not big on these types of records although I certainly have quite a few that I value highly. Unfortunately this isn't one of them.

The first track is exactly what i'm talking about with a short guitar solo before 1 1/2 minutes. "Unnerving Allure" has some nice bass in it and a guitar solo before 3 minutes followed by piano. "Timshel" is one i'm not too fond of with the prominant drumming and vocals. "Norman" has an aggressive intro and vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. This reminds me of ECHOLYN. This along with the only instrumental are my favourites. "Put Seven In Bold" is one I can't get into. The focus is on the vocals and there is this punchy sound.

"Withdraw" is a good vocal track. "Traverse" features piano and reserved vocals. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes. Guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. "R.R.R." is punchy with vocals. "The Continuation Of Livid" is the instrumental I like. It's pretty intense and when it settles we get some nice bass. "Unravel" is acoustic guitar and vocal led. A nice song.

A good album no doubt, but not exactly my style of music.

 Spiral Vendetta by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.73 | 20 ratings

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Spiral Vendetta
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The UK outfit GODSTICKS was formed back in 2006, initially as a cover band. By 2008 they had written enough material to compile a 5-track EP which was met with generally positive feedback, including earning them a spot on the attached CD to the first issue of the now highly successful Classic Rock presents Prog magazine. "Spiral Vendetta" is the first full length production by this trio, and was self-released in the summer of 2010.

If you enjoy jazz rock and fusion, in particular if strong and distinct melodies suit your musical tastes, "Spiral Vendetta" is an album that should cater for most if not all of your needs. The easygoing nature of the songs makes it a good introduction to the genre for the curious as well, especially if venturing into this style of music from a more mainstream-oriented musical taste. All in all a solid effort that deserves attention.

Thanks to King-By-Tor for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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